The following is a guest blog post by Susan Hess Logeais.
At the age of 48, I decided to resurrect my acting career by teaming up with 2 other soon to be middle-aged women. Acutely aware of the shortage of acting roles for women in general, not to mention those over the age of 35, I knew that I’d have to create the opportunity for myself. And so I did.
The result —“Not Dead Yet,” a feature film about three middle-aged actresses who join forces to revive their acting careers only to find themselves on a journey far more profound— has gone on to win 2 best feature awards. The first was at the Rhode Island International Film Festival followed by a win at the Baltimore Women’s Film Festival. But other than the LA Femme Film Festival, and the Women’s International Film Festival, “Not Dead Yet” has met the fate of numerous films about and/or by women.
Perhaps it’s because we chose to portray women as they really are, fiery and emotional; challenging their relationships as they seek to define themselves. We can understand that it made some men nervous. And with men in control of over 84% of the creative positions in filmmaking (top 100 grossing films), 97% of the clout positions in mainstream media, and 75% of the creative positions in broadcast and cable programming, it’s no wonder that stories told from a female perspective struggle to reach their audience.
Don’t get me wrong, I love men; I’m married to one and I have an 11 year-old son. But…the result of this male domination of media and entertainment is that women only get 29% of the film roles (top 100 grossing films) and when they are in a movie, 27% are highly sexualized, while 20% are naked – compared to 6% of male roles requiring nudity. In TV we are cougars, desperate housewives, victims in CSI programs, mean girls, and the like.[frame_left]https://theillusionists.org//wp-content/uploads/2010/07/NDYposter-web-version.jpg[/frame_left]And it’s not like there’s no market for our film – 50% of the population is over the age of 50, and women hold 50% of all jobs, controlling over 80% of their disposable household income.
Not one to give up, I consulted with Peter Broderick and have begun offering the film to women’s groups as a fundraising tool, sharing the information I’ve gathered about the sad state of affairs and encouraging audiences to start actively objecting.
I’m making a documentary about the process, in an effort to get the word out to an even broader audience. One of the ideas I’m suggesting is a funding and distribution portal – similar to Kickstarter, but with a focus on entertainment created by women. I’m just starting to share the idea, but I’m convinced that combining the core audiences, contacts and resources we’ve all developed into one network, can only serve to strengthen all those involved. The more contacts we have, the more interesting we become to sponsors and businesses hoping to position themselves in the changing market place.
– Susan Hess Logeais
P.S.: I’ve begun a blog myself by sharing my experience with breast implants, a consequence of my conditioning as a model and actress. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic so please consider making a comment.